- Unlimited bandwidth
- Host unlimited sites
- 24/7 phone support
- Free backups
HostRocket offer a broad range of web hosting options, with shared and dedicated hosting taking centre stage. The company is privately-owned and was founded in 1999. In hosting terms it’s relatively small, providing web hosting to around 50,000 customers, with plenty of scope for expansion, according to their website.
HostRocket is based in Clifton Park, NY in the USA where it owns and runs its own data centre. It was founded by Brendan Brader and John Reyes who now serve as CEO and CTO respectively.
HostRocket Hosting Plans
HostRocket offers a number of hosting plans spanning shared, reseller, dedicated and cloud VPS plans, although some of these are offered by another company.
● Shared hosting is split into four and appears to be Linux-based. Service capability doesn’t vary much between the plans, but the price drops over a longer contract term. This is an interesting way of presenting shared hosting, as it gives all customers unlimited resources while only varying the price when a longer contract is taken. Annual and biannual plans include free setup and a certain number of free months (assuming you’re a brand new customer), together with a low price point. Dedicated IPs, SSL certificates, domain registrations, transfers and backups are all chargeable extras, but the fundamental offering stays the same which makes the shared hosting refreshingly simple.
● Reseller hosting is based in the cloud, and reseller cloud and ordinary cloud hosting are both provided by another company, DotBlock. Reseller hosting is sold in blocks on a sliding price scale. All include unmetered bandwidth, SSD storage, 3 GB RAM and a 3 GHz processor. For cloud hosting, customers are invited to leave the HostRocket website and make an enquiry with DotBlock directly, so I haven’t covered that service in this review.
● Dedicated hosting plans are split into four tiers depending on the cores, storage and RAM you require. All but the most basic come with free RAID 1. It’s very straightforward to request a reboot of a dedicated server, incidentally: it’s just a case of clicking a button on the support page.
HostRocket promise 99.5% uptime for dedicated and shared web hosting plans, and the support centre mentions that there may be account credits where sites are down for longer than this. However, these credits need to be applied for manually. There’s no published information about uptime and downtime, and 99.5% is actually a little less than many other hosts offer at this price point.
The company owns its own data centre in New York state, which it says has enough space for the company to double in capacity, so it seems that it will be based there for some time. Connections are offered through Time Warner’s fibre network, Cisco routers and cat 5e ethernet cabling. The facility is air conditioned and offer full UPS battery backup power and diesel generators. The facility is staffed round the clock, all year, as you’d expect.
In terms of backups, customers must perform their own backups via Cpanel. There’s no information about regular backups besides this.
Support is provided via a client login area and ticketing system, and there’s a knowledgebase for customers who need reference material. The knowledgebase is fairly small but covers most of the basic questions a shared hosting customer would have about their account. An alternative FAQ covers some additional issues for specific account types. There’s no live chat or forum, and telephone support is provided via US telephone numbers and is available 24/7.
HostRocket in the News
I didn’t find any negative press from major tech sites that relates to HostRocket. Their service appears to be relatively stable and free from hacks and DDOS attacks.
HostRocket Control Panel
Cpanel is free on shared plans, but customers on other plans need to buy a licence month-by-month. On reseller accounts, the Cpanel licence also covers WHM. Note that the license for Cpanel on a dedicated server is more expensive than it is for a reseller account.
HostRocket don’t sell their services on the back of freebies and sweeteners. There are no advertised free ad credits available, which is unusual for a shared host. There are no free domain names on offer either.
The host does offer more than 250 auto-install scripts - an impressive number. These include all the usual suspects: Joomla, Drupal, Mambo and WordPress, for example, but some of the scripts are quite unusual. For example, in the eCommerce category, HostRocket offer 16 choices of eCommerce carts, including Magento, Zen Cart, osCommerce, Avactis, phpCOIN and more. This provides plenty of scope for experimentation.
RVSiteBuilder is available for customers who wish to build a site using a simple drag-and-drop tool.
HostRocket Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy
HostRocket offers a 30-day money-back guarantee which covers all hosting fees. Setup fees are not included. When closing the account, customers must provide digits from their card number, but otherwise there doesn’t appear to be any restriction on how the account is closed. As the company aren’t big on domain names, and don’t offer them for free, there’s no clause about domain name fees in the money-back guarantee.
I found the HostRocket site easy to use and navigate, and most of the information I needed to write this review was easy to locate, which is a good sign. They offer a comprehensive range of web hosting services and their shared hosting plans are competitively priced. The lack of live chat and a forum is a bit of a downside, particularly for international customers who may prefer not to contact the host by telephone.
In order to get the best price with HostRocket’s shared hosting, you’ll need to sign up long-term, which is a bit of a shame if you want to try-before-you-buy. However, given that their client base is relatively small and they run their own data centre, the odds of receiving solid service and good uptime are definitely high.
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